What the American People Are Saying About Trump

It can be frustrating to watch what Donald Trump and his administration are doing and not see any signs on the horizon that congressional Republicans are stepping up to the plate to stop him. But that can cloud our vision and lead us to believe that he has more support than he actually does.

While it is just one poll and all caveats apply, the most recent one from Quinnipiac paints a devastating picture for the man in the White House. They note that Trump got a bit of a bump after the missile strike in Syria, but he’s back down now to a near-record negative 36 – 58 percent job approval rating—and that is from a poll conducted before the announcement about Comey being fired. The drop holds true for groups that have been an important part of his base.

  • Negative 29 – 63 percent among independent voters, down from a negative 38 – 56 percent April 19;
  • A split among white voters with no college degree, as 47 percent approve and 46 percent disapprove, compared to a 57 – 38 percent approval April 19;
  • White men go from a 53 – 41 percent approval April 19 to a split today with 48 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving.

Notice the 10-point drop in approval among white working class voters and the 5-point drop from white men. Those are huge.

But as Adam Raymond summarizes, it’s not just job approval numbers.

Every number in this poll is bad. The majority of Americans say Trump is “not honest,” lacks leadership skills, doesn’t care about average Americans, is not “level-headed,” and does not share their values. On the economy, immigration, foreign policy, and terrorism, more Americans disapprove than approve of the job he’s doing.

Finally, Philip Bump tweeted the part of this poll that is getting most of the attention.

In total, the poll reported 46 words used by respondents to describe Trump. I did my own calculation and found that 28 of them were negative (idiot, clown, bigot), 10 of them were positive (strong, successful, great) and 8 were neutral (president, businessman, American). But beyond that, it is amazing to hear people describe the President of the United States with words like “idiot,” “liar,” and “buffoon.” Perhaps you’ll agree with me when I say that is disturbing in what it says about our current situation, but encouraging in that so many people are actually paying attention to the horrors we’re seeing from this president.

While the opportunity for American voters to weigh in on this president’s performance is still about 3 1/2 years away, here’s a bit of hope for 2018:

By a 54 – 38 percent margin, American voters want the Democratic Party to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This is the widest margin ever measured for this question in a Quinnipiac University poll, exceeding a 5 percentage point margin for Republicans in 2013.

Let’s do the math on that: the margin by which voters now want Democrats to control of the House is a little bit over three times what it was for Republicans in 2013 – heading into the 2014 midterms. It’s still too early to make a prediction, but that is precisely why you are hearing the beginning of rumblings about a “wave” election.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.